School Counselor Shortage

Guidance Counselor Shortage, Shortage of Guidance Counselors, Shortage of School Counselors

Caseloads for school counselors are through the roof. Individual attention is scarce.

There has been a school counselor shortage for years but the shortage is getting worse. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), a public school counselor has an average caseload of 471 students. That’s right. 471 students. Per counselor. Do you think that leads to great college counseling? Not so much. According to a piece in “TIME” on the shortage of school counselors, “In California, for example, the ratio has increased from 1-to-810 before the 2008 economic downturn to 1-to-1,016 today. That’s for all grades. In high schools, where counselors are often the primary source of information about college, each one is responsible for a nationwide average of 239 students, the ASCA says. In California, it’s 1-to-500, and in Georgia, according to a Georgia School Counselors Association survey, it’s 1-to-512.” Oy vey.

And because of school budget cuts, as the “TIME” article points out, school counselors are taking on responsibilities that really have nothing at all to do with, say, college counseling. From proctoring exams to monitoring the school cafeteria (that’s nuts!), school counselors just don’t have the time to devote to helping their 471 students gain admission to the colleges of their dreams. It’s very unfortunate!

But even at private schools, school counselors who often “specialize” (we put that word in quotes because many school counselors at private schools don’t know the ins and outs of the highly selective college admissions process either) in college counseling have 106 students on average. 106 students is a lot, too! It’s not “only” 106 as it’s written in the “TIME” piece. 106 is a lot!

What do you think public and private schools should do to address the school counselor shortage? Do you see this trend changing in the coming years or only getting worse? How do you see this impacting private college counseling? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting below.

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